A Watershed Landscape Project
CSI: Rombalds Moor is one of several initiatives developed within the Watershed Landscapes Project, a wide ranging project covering 5 major themes, one of them being the Historic Environment. Earlier this year Pennine Prospects* was awarded a HLF grant of £1.9 M towards the Watershed Landscapes Project which is also in receipt of Leader funding. A Community Archaeologist, Gavin Edwards, has been appointed, and funding has been made available for a number of smaller projects to record aspects of the historic environment across the South Pennines. CSI: Rombalds Moor is one of these projects.
Capturing a fading landscape
Prehistoric carvings are a unique and valuable part of our heritage, providing a direct link with the people who lived here over 5,000 years ago. Although stone is a relatively long-lasting medium, it is nevertheless subject to erosion by wind and rain, and to the destructive effects of vegetation such as lichen, algae, and moss. It is important to try and capture a detailed record of the carved stones and their surrounding landscape both for current studies and to guide conservation management, so we can protect them for future generations.
Building on the England’s Rock Art legacy
A key objective of the project will be to train local people to undertake the recording of the carved stones of Rombalds Moor. The project will be led by the team who managed the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Pilot Project (NADRAP) and will use the methodology developed during this English Heritage funded project. The records created will be added to the England’s Rock Art database which was developed during the NADRAP Project. It is anticipated that around 800 carved panels will be documented and captured using photography. These new records will be consistent with the existing data, allowing better comparison and analysis between regions. The application of photogrammetry, one of the most exciting developments to come out of the NADRAP work will provide an accurate and objective baseline record of the current state of the rock art panels, and help to develop management priorities for the future.
The Rombalds Moor area has a strong history of local, amateur involvement in rock art recording with key figures including Stuart Feather, Edward Vickerman, Anne Haigh, Bill Godfrey, and Keith Boughey. The database, drawings, and photographs compiled by the Ilkley Archaeology Group will form the basis of the new records. By involving a new generation of local people in the recording process it is hoped to continue this strong sense of ownership and pride in the prehistoric heritage of Rombalds Moor.
*Pennine Prospects was established in 2005 to support the regeneration of the South Pennines. The company is owned by the key local authorities, water companies, Natural England and voluntary/community sector.